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Derby points shared

Tuesday December 26th


North West Counties Football League First Division South


Stafford Town 3 Brocton 3


Brocton were forced into changes following injuries to Christian Blanchette, Connor Haddaway and Jake Thomas in their previous fixture at Stockport Town. Dan Evans and Will Whieldon returned to the starting line-up with Charlie King reverting to his favoured position in midfield. Stafford Town under Adam Wall had made huge strides forward and sat just outside the play-offs at the start of play.


The first 16 minutes of play were somewhat cagey with neither side making any real impression. That all changed in the 17th minute when Brocton were awarded a penalty. Reg Smith was too strong for his defender, played the ball inside to Whieldon who was tripped in the area. Whieldon himself lifted himself off the plastic to fire home the spot kick past Adam Jenkins. Brocton went close to a second minutes later when a superb cross from Tom Vaughan flicked off a home defender for a corner. Stafford’s first showing came just after the half hour mark when a piece of good control from Jayden Hunter created a chance for Sean Kinsella, but his shot was blocked and gathered by Tony Allsopp. The home side began to take control and a quick break saw Hunter clear the bar with an effort. Stafford continued to push forward, and Ben Herrington hit a shot from a tight angle straight at Allsopp. The equaliser followed in the 39th minute. Kenny Devoir conceded a free kick on the left hand touch line with a foul on Hunter. Kinsella’s delivery into the area was met by the unmarked Hunter who tucked the ball home.


Half-time: Stafford Town 1 Brocton 1


Stafford continued where they had left off at the end of the first half, asking questions of the Brocton defence. A dangerous cross from Herrington was well cleared by Vaughan. Stafford took the lead in the 50th minute. Joe Perry played the ball between Devoir and Vaughan, neither of whom could react as Hunter took control and placed the ball into the corner past Allsopp. Excellent work on the right hand touch line by Smith saw him beat a defender and cross into the danger area with Jenkins gathering well. Stafford should have made it three in the 54th minute. A ball into the area was met at close range by Hunter, Allsopp making an excellent save. The ball rebounded to Matt Hearsey and Allsopp pushed the ball onto the post before Brocton cleared their lines. It was all Stafford. A cross field ball from Hunter picked out Herrington. He raced forward and shot at goal forcing a good save from Allsopp, however a goal would have been almost certain if he had squared the ball. Stafford wasted another chance on the hour mark when Charlie Young fired over when in a good position. The third goal for the home side arrived in the 63rd minute. Stafford were awarded a free kick in a central position. Former Badger Kinsella stepped up and curled a shot into the corner giving Allsopp no chance. Hunter attempted an audacious overhead which dropped wide before Brocton finally began to assert some authority. In the 67th minute, Whieldon hit a shot straight at Jenkins and a minute later Lucas Green-Birch saw his shot blocked as he ran out of room. Herrington was on target with an effort for Stafford, the shot straight into Allsopp’s midriff. Cam Osborne cut inside from the left touchline before clearing the cross bar with his shot. In the 80th minute, a curled effort from Osborne beat Jenkins and the far post. Jenkins could do little a minute later as Brocton closed the gap. A free kick on the edge of the area was left to Smith and his fierce shot flew past Jenkins. The game had well and truly turned, and it was now the league leaders on the front foot. Smith hit a wild shot over the bar and then saw a shot on the turn saved by Jenkins. In the first minute of stoppage time, a ball through the Stafford defence was into the path of teenage substitute Seb Conaghan who lifted his shot over the bar. Back came Stafford and Hunter cleared the cross bar after robbing Charlie King. It should have been game over for Stafford in the second minute of stoppage time. Hearsey played the ball into the path of Hunter who inexplicably shot over with the goal at his mercy. His team was made to pay in the 6th minute of time added on. A defence splitting pass from King was into the path of Conaghan and from a tight angle the youngster curled the ball over Jenkins and into the roof of the net. Two minutes later, the comeback was almost completed. A cross from King was met on the volley by Osborne and Jenkins made a fine save to ensure his side picked up a point.


Full-Time: Stafford Town 3 Brocton 3 Attendance:371


Stafford Town: Adam Jenkins, Charlie Young, Jake Cartwright, Taylor Draper, Joe Perry, Sean Kinsella, Ben Herrington (Craig Bannister 79), Callum Wood, Jayden Hunter (Tom Duffy 90+5), Josh Wilson (Max Van Der Laan 73), Matt Hearsey. Subs (Not Used): James Sutton, Matt Dudley


Brocton: Tony Allsop, Adam Weldon, Dan Evans, Kenny Devoir (Alex Curtis 80), Tom Vaughan, Ben Haddaway (Lewis Rowley 55), Cam Osborne, Will Whieldon (Seb Conaghan 75), Reg Smith, Charlie King, Morgan Payne (Lucas Green-Birch 63). Sub (Not Used): Ben Hackett


Yellow Cards: Young (Stafford Town); Weldon, Evans, Osborne, Smith, Conaghan (Brocton)



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